Decrease in pay with an internal higher position move

Good day I am a lab employee for a major company. I started with the company as a lab tech. Worked several years and obtained a salary level. I was recruited to another department and city location in the same state CA. This position is a Phlebotomist, which is a higher position internally that requires certification. When I moved to the new position the supervisor decreased my hourly wage significantly because she said I was new to the position. This company has been riddled with labor lawsuits. Now there is a union organizing to meet with all employees. My supervisor recently approached me to implement a 3 dollar hour wage increase. I asked what was the reason, because I had been inquiring over the years about my pay because of the aforementioned incident. She stated it was the right thing to do. Are companies able to decrease ones pay in this case?

Asked on February 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a company can decrease your pay with a move to a higher position--or a lateral transfer, or if you stay in the same position; i.e. at any time, no matter what your position--unless you have a written employment (including union) contract setting your pay. Without a contract, you are an employee at will, and one of the consequences of being an employee at will is that your pay is subject to the "will" of the employer: they can change it at any time, for any reason.


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